December 2018

Premier Insurance Advisors: Taking Insurance Back to Basics

Author: Barry Kaufman

Premier Insurances three founders Paul Schmidt (white), Brian Knapp (blue) and Kevin Regan (red).

There’s one word missing from Premier Insurance Advisors sign—but please know that it is very much by design. You won’t hear the firm referred to anywhere as an insurance “agency,” for one simple reason. Insurance agents work for insurance companies. Premier Insurance Advisors does things a little differently.

“We’re advisors first. As an agent, you’re representing the company,” said Brian Knapp, one of three founders of this unique new idea in insurance. “We believe we’re the counterpoint.”

Part of being that counterpoint lies in being able to offer something most large corporate insurance agencies can’t: truly personalized coverages and services. As a brokerage firm, they enjoy access to hundreds of different products, giving Premier Insurance Advisors the ability to completely tailor coverage to the needs and risks of clients across the Lowcountry, whether personal or business. Delivering that personalization is a collective 70-plus years of experience between the firm’s three founders, Paul Schmidt, Kevin Regan and Brian Knapp.

After leaving the Army and going back to college, Schmidt worked in insurance in Kentucky, including several years running his own successful agency. With his emphasis on personal lines, Schmidt sees the unique nature of his new firm as a way to educate clients on their options.

“We want to educate the client, so when they walk out of here, they know exactly what they have, what they’re protecting and why they’re protecting it,” he said. “We’re not an agency that is going to look at your existing policy and copy that. We’re going to look at it, dissect it, find any holes in it, and educate you.”

Originally from Long Island, Regan also ran a large agency, but spent enough time in corporate insurance to realize there were limitations on what he was allowed to do for his clients.

“One of the driving factors that took us out of the corporate world is that the corporate world does not focus on the client,” he said. “They do not want to have that hands-on experience with the client, which we feel is important.”

Instead Regan thrives on the way Premier Insurance Advisors puts an emphasis on direct consultation, where it’s not unheard of for one of the three founders to lay down complete coverage options and explain each right at a client’s kitchen table.

“It’s the experience like our parents had with their insurance agent where they sat down and talked about things, not just put a piece of paper in front of you,” he said.

Rounding out the trio is Knapp, who is the young gun of the group with nearly a decade of experience in insurance. He specializes in commercial lines, something that he feels also sets Premier apart from other insurance options.

“You can’t be everything to everyone, and you can’t be a Jack of all trades and be the best at what you do,” he said. “An educated consumer is our best client. Each of us have our own expertise and we focus on being the very best at it.”

Likewise, since combining their experience, insight and passion for helping clients, the three founders of Premier Insurance Advisors have allowed themselves to be the best at what they focus on: delivering a customer-focused experience and personalized insurance with a human touch.

Premier Insurance Advisors is located at 800 Main Street, Suite 110, Hilton Head Island. For more information, visit or call (843) 689-5300.

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